‘Jack Carter’s Law’ is the prequel to the book ‘Get Carter’ (originally titled ‘Jack Return’s Home’) by Ted Lewis. I was excited to finally read this book because ‘Get Carter’ the film is one of my favorite movies of all time and this book gives us more of that hard as nails character. Despite being a bloody criminal he is an antihero of the underworld. That’s not to say he is chivalrous but he does hold back where those around him wouldn’t, to put it another way, he’s not a thug.
The story in brief has to do with a grass named Jimmy Swan who is about to spill the beans on Carter’s Bosses, Gerald and Les which will not only bring down their criminal empire but also their right hand man Jack too. It’s a race against time as Jack tries to find the grass who’s info will put him away for a long time.
The story is once again told in the first person, present tense and it really adds to the tension here. You really feel in the middle of the action as Jack describes the scenes first hand with his own colorful view of things.
The Jack Carter of ‘Jack Carter’s Law’ is far more in control and not the mayhem inducing person he becomes later in ‘Get Carter’. There is an intelligence to the man, we learn that he was a top kid at school, he didn’t even really have to try to get the grades and later when he sees an opportunity to progress into a business he takes it. Here in this book he is far more forgiving and altruistic (maybe it’s a christmas thing) and it’s those around him who show their ugly side such as Peter the Dutchman, a complete ****!
While this book isn’t as good as ‘Get Carter’ it is most definitely still worth your time. For anyone who likes the character from the movie you’ll be still picturing Michael Caine as Carter and if you like the books this will be a satisfying entry into Carter’s story. Anyone interested in Hard Boiled fiction and Noir will love it too.
Favorite Quote: “Yes, give me my fucking tea,” I tell him. “Let’s all have our tea so we’ll all feel nice and fresh and ready to face the day.” – Jack Carter